Sunday, June 19, 2016

Should Christians accept homosexuals as ethical equals and not as sinners?

The question posed in the title of this post on Quora.com. I thought some of my blog followers would like to see my response.

Christ said that one of the greatest commandments was to love all others, even our enemies. And the only prayer that he is recorded as giving us to say is “The Lord’s Prayer”, which starts with the words, "Our Father". Thus, he taught that we are all children of God.

Furthermore, one of the most well-known stories in the New Testament is the story about a woman caught in adultery, a sin that Christ mentioned a number of times. A number of people were about to stone this woman because that was part of Jewish law. (And, of course Christ was Jewish). 

He famously told the people, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

They all walked away. Christ said to the woman, “Is anyone left to condemn you?”. She said, “No, my Lord.” He responded, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

In this beautiful story, we are told 1) we are all sinners, and 2) we are not to judge others, even if they have sinned.

If you read the Gospels, Christ railed against hypocrisy more than any other sin. So anyone who considers themselves a Christian and calls out homosexuals as sinners are hypocrites, because they, and we, have all sinned in many ways.

We have no record of Christ mentioning homosexual sex. He did define marriage as between one man and one woman when he said:

“Have you not read that He (God) who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Christ gave this spiritual definition of marriage, and so it’s understandable that some Christians believe a marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.

But instead of having laws against same-sex marriage, or polygamous marriage for that matter, it would be much better to remove any government involvement or licensing of any marriages. After all, it has only been since the 1800s or so that any governments licensed marriage. By doing this, people can make whatever private arrangements they wish, and that is their business. They can also file a will, or any other legal documents they wish. These legal documents are between individuals.

Even if a Christian were to consider homosexual sex to be a sin, it would be pretty low on the ladder. At the top would be murder, rape, child abuse, and then stealing, fraud and such. Hypocrisy is not far from the top.

Certainly adultery would be considered a ‘higher level’ sin than homosexual sex, because adultery is mentioned as a sin many times, while homosexual sex was not mentioned by Christ, and only mentioned a couple of times in the letters in the New Testament.

The bottom line is that Christians who rail against those who have homosexual sex are hypocrites, because it is certain that they sin every day, as do we all. We are all children of God and should treat each other as such.

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Tim Farage is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at the University of Texas at Dallas. One of his main interests is how to improve education using technology. He also writes and speaks about Intelligent Design, and how science and spirituality can be reconciled.


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